I was recently reading through the book “Organic Outreach for Churches” by Kevin G. Harney. This book is all about how churches can naturally and organically reach people around them. One of the points he makes is that our outreach is stifled if we do not love the church. After all, why would we invite others to be a part of something that we really aren’t that fond of ourselves?
But how can we really get excited over the Church when every time we turn around we are seeing a story about a Christian leader caught in a scandal, or a group of Christians picketing a funeral, or researchers that claim that the church is declining at a rapid rate and we are losing all our young people and no one likes Christians. We don’t want to be a part of something like that much less invite others to join us Its like when one of my brothers or sisters would pull a forgotten Tupperware container out of the fridge and upon opening it would exclaim, “Ugh that stinks … here you smell!”
Um no thanks!?
Is the church perfect? Well of course not, but are there great reasons to love her? Absolutely! Here is the thing, we know the church isn’t perfect but did you know that Christianity is doing much better than we are led to believe?
Kevin Harney suggested in “Organic Outreach” another book. A book that sounded incredibly interesting. A book that for the time being (until I read something else) has become my favorite book.
This book is full of great information and sprinkled with just enough sarcastic humor to keep it fun. He looks at multiple assumptions and popular opinions about Christianity and looks at the data to determine if it is true.
To put it simply – We can all calm down —- things are NOT as bad as we have been sometimes led to believe.
- Christianity is not on the brink of extinction.
- We are not losing all of our young people
- Christian’s do love each other and we are not just as sinful as the world.
While all of these things run contrary to the sensationalist headlines that would lead us to believe Christianity is on its way out and we are all hate-filled hypocrites, this good report shouldn’t be a surprise to us.
It shouldn’t be surprising that God’s church is thriving.
It shouldn’t be surprising that people’s hearts and lives are truly transformed by the power of Christ – after all, didn’t he transform your life and weren’t you added to his kingdom?
Wright writes, “ This positive message is very different from what we often hear from Christian leaders, teachers, and researchers. Their message can go something like this: American Christianity is rapidly dying, and Christians are immoral, disliked, and not very good at being Christians, So…go invite your friends to join us.”
If you have $6 and a little bit of time jump on Amazon and get a copy and perhaps it will help you go with confidence to your friends, families, and neighbors inviting them to join the Christian movement that is sweeping the world and changing lives for the better.